I find myself in a bad spot with my boyfriend. He surprised me with a proposal a week before Thanksgiving with a ring and everything, but I told him no. We’ve only been together for a year and I just wasn’t ready. I love him, but I don’t know if I want to spend the rest of my life with him yet.
Anyway, I told him I love him and just needed time, and that I didn’t want to break up. It’s like he didn’t hear anything but me saying no though. Ever since that night, his energy is off and he seems annoyed whenever we’re together. It’s like he’s punishing me. But why would I get engaged to get married if I’m not ready?
So what do I do? How do I get my relationship back on track? By the way, he doesn’t want to talk about the proposal anymore. I tried.
Dear Not Ready,
Thanks for writing to me. Your letter is one that resonates with me for a number of reasons, including the fact that I’m not a fan of surprise proposals. When you take the romantic rose-colored glasses off, marriage these days is about more than just blinged-out engagement rings, Pinterest-inspired weddings, and the “couple of forevers” Chrisette Michele sang about in her song. Because of all the legalities involved when a person takes a spouse (i.e. insurance, power of attorneys, taxes, finances, etc.), I tend to look at marriage as more of a business partnering that’s love inspired. As such is the case, I think folks should mutually agree to marriage, and there shouldn’t be surprise proposals. Before I go too far down that rabbit hole, let me get back to your dilemma.
You did the right thing by being honest. You wouldn’t have done yourself or your boyfriend any favors agreeing to a commitment you aren’t ready for. Heck, the world is full of broken marriages that were rushed into prematurely. So kudos to you for being truthful and knowing where you are in life.
While your boyfriend is upset with you at the moment, it probably stems from his own disappointment and embarrassment. His pride was bruised, which is understandable. He put himself out there ready to take a step he assumed you both were ready to take, only to be turned down. Even though he’s in his feelings right now, it doesn’t mean he stopped loving you.
Your boyfriend just needs time and your reassurance that you’re still committed to him and the relationship. I get he told you he doesn’t want to talk about the proposal anymore, but he needs to know your answer to his proposal was more of a “not yet” than a “not ever” (if you indeed think you could possibly marry him one day).
Suggestions going forward
- Again, have a conversation with him, and put your love and feelings on the table. I recommend you talk over a special dinner. If you cook, whip up his favorites. If you don’t, you take him to his favorite restaurant (following Covid-19 protocols of course).
- Remember, if you see marriage as a possibility one day with him, explain you just need time to reach the place when you’re ready.
As always nothing but love,
By the way, make sure you’re all caught up on Season One of my scripted show Majoring in Me the Podcast. Season Two is in the works, and some MAJOR drama is coming!